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Tech Volleyball Looks for Turnaround vs. Maryland and Boston College

Nov. 19, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format
CLICK HERE to read about Tech’s four signees for next season.

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech looks to snap its three-match losing skid this weekend when it hosts Maryland and Boston College for a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference matches. The Yellow Jackets (18-9, 10-7 ACC) open the weekend Friday with a 7 p.m. match against the Eagles (7-22, 1-16 ACC) before meeting the Terrapins (6-23, 2-15 ACC) Saturday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night. (See below for more details on the 2008 seniors.)

The Yellow Jackets are coming off a 3-1 loss at Florida State, which followed a pair of five-set losses at Miami and Duke, and look to pick up their first win since a 3-2 victory at Wake Forest two weeks ago. Maryland and Boston College stand 11th and 12th, respectively, in the league standings.

This Weekend’s Matches:
Friday: Georgia Tech vs. Boston College, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Georgia Tech vs. Maryland, 7 p.m.

Promotion This Weekend:
Saturday: Michael Isenhour Toy Drive – Georgia Tech student-athletes will be on hand before the match at the entrance to O’Keefe Gym to collect new, unwrapped toys and/or monetary donations that will go to a local foster home in time for the holidays.

Game Coverage: Both matches can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) while live stats for all of Tech’s home matches can be found at Ramblinwreck.com.

Tech vs. the Opponents (Tech leads BC, 7-2, Maryland leads Tech, 25-22)

The Yellow Jackets hold a 22-25 all-time record against Maryland following a 3-0 victory against the Terrapins in College Park earlier this season, which extended Tech’s record to 9-5 against Maryland under head coach Bond Shymanksy. The Yellow Jackets have won 10-straight home matches against the Terps, with the last loss at O’Keefe Gym coming during the 1997 season. Tech will be looking for its first series sweep since the 2004 season after splitting the last three seasons.

Tech has fared better against Boston College and enters this weekend’s match with a 7-2 record against the Eagles following a 3-0 sweep in Chestnut Hill earlier this season. The Yellow Jackets are 5-2 against Boston College since Shymansky took over the program in 2002 and enter this weekend on a four-match winning streak against the Eagles.

Stellar Seniors

Prior to the match Saturday evening, the Yellow Jackets will pay tribute to the 2008 senior class, which has helped Georgia Tech to 84 victories over the last four years. The five-person class, which includes Ohio natives Talisa Kellogg (Westerville), Callie Miller (Whitehouse) and Allie Niekamp (Findlay), Michelle Kandell of Manahattan Beach, Calif., and Atlanta native Stephanie Robbins, has combined to post top-10 records in 12 different career statistical categories at Georgia Tech.

Below is a list of the senior class and each of their top accomplishments:

Talisa Kellogg – 2007 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American; 2007 All-ACC First Team; 2008 Preseason All-ACC; 2005 All-ACC Freshman; Two-year Captain; Finishes her career with the following all-time rankings at Georgia Tech: Third in career kills; Fourth in career kills per set; Sixth in career solo blocks.

“Talisa has been such a great competitor and played with high spirits all four years of her career,” said Georgia Tech head coach Bond Shymansky. “It is very rewarding to have a person and player of Talisa’s spirit. She never got down, and always provided inspiration to her teammates. On top of all of that, Talisa has been a key component to our success as our kill leader for the past four seasons. Everyone who watches Talisa play sees the same thing that I already know… Talisa is fantastic.”

Callie Miller – 2008 Preseason All-ACC; 2005 All-ACC Freshman; 2006 ACC Honor Roll; Finishes her career with the following all-time rankings at Georgia Tech: Fifth in career hitting percentage; Seventh in career total blocks; Seventh in career block assists; 10th in career blocks per set.

“Callie has developed into a wrecking force at the net this year,” Shymansky said. “She has been unstoppable all year long as a hitter, and has dramatically improved her blocking numbers at the net. Callie is outgoing and always joyful, but very intense on the court. As a four year starter Callie has gotten better every year and has always been an explosive weapon in the front row. Callie is absolutely dynamic in every way.”

Allie Niekamp – 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Second Team; 2006 and 2007 Academic All-ACC Volleyball Team; 2006, 2007 and 2008 ACC Honor Roll; 2008 Captain; One of three players in school history to record a triple-double in volleyball; Finishes her career with the following all-time rankings at Georgia Tech: Third in career assists; Fourth in career assists per set; Fourth in career service aces per set.

“Allie has worked so hard to become our starting setter and has really grasped our offensive system and strategy,” Shymansky said. “Her work ethic and aggressiveness have allowed her to lead her team to many great victories during the past four years. She truly cares about the success of her teammates before her own, and that’s what made her a great captain and friend to everyone in our program. Allie is a great role model for future years.”

Michelle Kandell – Set the school’s single-season record for digs in a season with 628 in 2007; Finishes her career with the following all-time rankings at Georgia Tech: Second in career digs per set; Third in career digs.

“Michelle has been one of the grittiest players I have ever coached,” Shymansky said. “If there is one position on the court that has to be as tough as nails, it’s libero. Michelle has never been afraid to stand tall and lead, and has put her performance where her mouth is all year long. Michelle has added capability, charisma and character to our team the past four years. She is the ultimate competitor.”

Stephanie Robbins – 2006, 2007 and 2008 ACC Honor Roll; Will earn her degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech with honors, and is the first volleyball player since the 1999 season to receive an engineering degree from the Institute.

“Steph is every coach’s dream player,” Shymansky added. “She came to Georgia Tech as a walk-on and never once asked what was in it for her, she only gave to the team. She has been a leader in the gym, the classroom and even the weight room. Her work ethic and drive has been unmatched. The best finish to Steph’s story is that she earned a scholarship and starting spot her senior year, and will graduate with an engineering degree from Tech. Steph is the great GT success story.”

–GT–

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